Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat May 12 2012 10:11:06

eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is surveying sellers to see how they feel about a new feature designed to eliminate deadbeat shoppers for both fixed-price and auction format listings.

eBay is considering offering a form of "immediate pay" for auctions. Buyers would sign a one-time billing agreement that would give eBay permission to automatically collect payment once a bidder wins any future auction.


Currently eBay offers sellers the ability to require customers to pay immediately for their fixed-price listings. The survey indicates eBay is also considering making the feature mandatory on eligible listings - i.e., where shipping costs are known upfront for those sellers who accept a form of payment that allows for immediate pay (via PayPal).

In the survey sent to sellers this week, eBay asked how interested respondents would be if eBay required "immediate pay" for all fixed price listings.

Another survey question asked, "If eBay required "immediate pay" for fixed price listings, do you think there should be an exception allowing buyers more time to pay for higher priced items?" It then asked sellers to define "higher priced items," from items over $100 to items over $10,000.

eBay could be feeling the pressure from merchants tired of non-paying shoppers, as well as those merchants who also sell on Amazon where the problem of non-paying customers is not a problem, since Amazon collects payments on behalf of third-party sellers. It could also be an attempt to boost the adoption rate of PayPal on the eBay marketplace.

A seller who received the survey wrote to EcommerceBytes, "It looks like this new "improvement" will be spun under the title of "Seller's Benefit - elimination of non-payment sales - get paid immediately". Too bad the people who like to pay by check, money order and would e-mail you to see if you have another trinket or two would be set aside."

Are non-paying bidders and buyers a problem on eBay?

And what do you think of the features/policies eBay is considering to address the problem?




Comments (53) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 10:40:24 2012

The Diamond sellers must be complaining to ebay about ebay's deadbeat customers.
It's a good idea.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: basset

Sat May 12 10:54:08 2012

At first glance I have a few questions -
  1) some buyers buy fixed price items & then wait for an auction to end a few days out to get multiple purchases discounts. It is easiest on the seller to have all payments made at one time. More partial shipping refunds would be issued to buyers if they have to pay each item individually, but no refund of the FVF fees that eBay collects on shipping?

  2) I have not had a HUGE problem with non-paying bidders. Only one so far this year (may have been end of December). I do have people email in advance & ask for time to pay based on their payday etc... I seldom get burned by those people & don't mind going a few days extra.

  3) If I were shopping at a B&M store, I would be paying immediately, so I can see why the issue would come up & I supposed it would make a certain amount of sense for FP items. Not sure it would make sense for all sellers with a mix of auction and FP.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat May 12 12:20:43 2012

At first glance it sounds promising.

As long as eBay doesn't try to charge sellers EXTRA for the privilege of being paid.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 13:02:12 2012

They kind of have this on Amazon.  I have a CC on file with them and can buy - 1 click and have them deduct payment for the item.  I have always like that.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: Charlie B This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 13:30:04 2012

I'm all for it. Deadbeat bidders are a total waste of valuable time. So sick of having to shake people down for money, not to mention having inventory tied up.  

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 14:14:21 2012

NOOOOOOOOOO!!! eBay forced me economically to give up auctions. Now all I sell is Buy-It-Now. I don't want eBay to insinuate it any MORE into my small business. They are NOT helping. I want the discretion to allow payment as I see fit. One size does not fit all. I will not inconvenience all my buyers for the infrequent deadbeat. This company is so overreaching, I really believe now that they DO want to run small sellers out of business. Every single day, eBay does something that contradicts my business practices. How much must we take? For auctions, maybe immediate payment will please others. I am as big (or bigger) a buyer than a seller, and I RESENT the immediate payments because they slow me down when I have a limited time to "hunt". A real shopping cart, and pay all at once, is eBay's HUGE leg over Etsy. Today's surprise? I find I have NEGATIVE eBay bucks!!! Who knew?

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat May 12 15:07:49 2012

Giving buyers the option to complete immediate payment for auction items needs to be implemented properly in order to work. This should not be something shoved down sellers throats in a one size fits all policy.

Sellers should be able to opt in to requiring the immediate payment for their auction listings.

Buyers should be able to opt into instant payments but should also have the option to declare a the payment method they want to be used. Many buyers would want items charged to their credit cards so that they earn miles, points or what have you. eBay should not require buyers to use their PayPal balance first as they so commonly do with other purchases.

Also, as a safeguard, when buyers who have opted in are placing their bid, the bid pop up window should include a check box which the buyer would have to click that indicates they are aware payment will be made immediately if they are the winning bidder.

This same process could also be applied to Buy It Now items when the seller has indicated they want immediate payment and allow buyers to avoid the multiple page checkout and payment confirmation process.

While the automatic payment process would speed up payments, sellers need to also consider the impact it may have on regular buyers who might win or purchase multiple items anticipating shipping will be combined.

With immediate payments activated, and multiple items are purchased with the expectation of combined shipping, sellers would likely have to eat a small portion of the fees in order to issue a refund after combining an order to meet buyer expectations.

This may or may not be an acceptable trade off for sellers frustrated by slow pay and no pay bidders, and is another reason eBay needs to partially refund fees when payments are partially refunded before items are shipped.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: Harry.Fodder This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 15:38:47 2012

I see something to tic the buyer off. No thanks

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat May 12 16:07:12 2012

Two or three years ago, I would have applauded this proposal but not now. In any given month 10% to 20% of my sales are pre approved delay payment -- anywhere from three days to 90 day layaways which ebay may be trying to eliminate and force buyers into Bilk Me Later.

1. Any such system should be optional with the seller with NO ebafia punitive measures taken against sellers who opt out. My percentage of non paying bidders has substantially decreased in the last two years because I sell higher priced items and have learned to block those who send red flag questions before buying.

2. Only buyers with a history of non payment (as few as two non payments) should be required to pay immediately for one year. If they screw up again, the immediate payment requirementn would be permanent.

For ebafia, it should be a wash. While such a heavy handed policy would reduce NPBs, it would also significantly increase off ebay sales just as their outrageous policy on paper payments and post sale comms.

3. In an opt in/out system, deadbeat buyers and their families at the same address must not be permitted to create new user IDs.

As many have commented here before, BUYERS MUST BE VERIFIED.

What is ebafia so afraid of that they won't require user verification?

It couldn't be because they know many if their policies aid, abet, and encourage fraud, would it?

It couldn't be because ebafia knows they host the world's largest fencing site for stolen merchandise, would it?

It couldn't be because ebafia knows they host the world's largest venue for counterfeit merchandise, would it?

Ebafia, let sellers manage their own businesses! Give sellers choices, not arbitrary mandates that weren't thought through!

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: 10 year seller This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 12 18:29:44 2012


"eBay is considering offering a form of "immediate pay" for auctions. Buyers would sign a one-time billing agreement that would give eBay permission to automatically collect payment once a bidder wins any future auction."

A "form" of immediate pay?
Maybe eBay is going to give discounts to people who pay right away. Maybe they will be top rated buyers?

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: NullApps This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat May 12 19:06:32 2012

If this is anything like the PayPal payment agreement for the Apps Center (and I'm sure its exactly the same) then eBay will have no way of enforcing it.  The problem is that buyers can cancel that agreement at any time.  So a bidder could sign up, bid on dozens of listings, and then cancel the agreement rendering it useless.  Then they'll just pay the ones they really want.  Then when all the sellers report them as UPI the buyer just has to say he was having problems paying and he obviously signed up for the agreement or he couldn't bid in the first place so must be a PayPal issue.  That will remove any of the strikes.

For the most part it will work great for about a year.  But then the problems will begin.  Buyers will get their yearly emails saying their agreement is about to expire with a button telling them to ''click here to renew''.  But buyers will see the email and think ''I'm a good buyer that always pays immediately for everything I buy.  I don't need to pay attention to any emails regarding payments.''  Then they'll continue buying on eBay until one day their agreement expires and suddenly sellers are demanding payments from them.  They find they can't pay their auctions, tell the seller to fix the problem, leave bad feedbacks, and then leave the site altogether.  Considering that's what a small portion of sellers do I see no reason to believe buyers wouldn't act the same or worse.

Then there will be the buyers who sign up for the agreement to bid on just one listing that requires it.  Later they'll go into PayPal and see that they just authorized the seller (actually eBay but to them there is on difference) to withdraw some large amount of money like $10000.  They'll cancel the agreement and leave negative feedback for the seller.

I would hope that by placing such a system in the forefront on the site that eBay actually works on fixing all the problems with the system and then shares those fixes with the App Center.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit

Sat May 12 19:33:40 2012

When eBay mulls a feature that will get rid of parasitic management, they can sign me up.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: earth1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 13 01:00:03 2012

well you people all our swallowing the ebay line once more. you always complain about ebay to stay out of your business but now you want them to collect your money because of people who don't pay. you read their article before a while back you will see, that they will be charging 2 percent for this service and you will not be getting your money for at least two weeks. so now you will pay for your inventory you will pay for the shipping packing materials All this out your pocket. this problem can be solved like they do over at shop goodwill.com where they just throw you off the site if you don't pay. if someone doesn't pay you just relist the item and wait another week just like waiting the two weeks to get your money from me ebay only difference you'll be losing 2 percent of your money.this is as always very good for the eBay and paypal. you all belong to the Church of eBay pray to your god paypal they will save you from people who don't pay put a little more in the collection plate. do you want the Bay in your business or out of your business it looks like you want them in your business so stop complaining.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun May 13 01:54:18 2012

As I replied on the AB Blog:

I would say that it would be a good thing. I quit running auctions because of the fact that many payers that usually come from Asia and Australia bid and don't pay or they eventually do pay and then give you a negative because they felt they were harassed into paying.
Just recently had one from Australia that gave me a neutral and one from Hong Kong that gave me a neg and this is because I had to file NPB's on them.
I am going to give both back to eBay to see if they can be removed but I am not giving it much hope.

Now we just run FP and have no problem with people paying right away. Of course we have to deal with the rolling blackouts. LOL

Bill  

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan

Sun May 13 11:04:50 2012

On the one hand, I would love to not have to chase bidders down for payment, or wait the 2-3 days until ebay sends them a reminder, or force the issue by opening a non-payment case.

On the other hand, what about multiple purchases?  Do they pay each and every time and then I have to go back and refund the excess shipping?  

Plus: "Buyers would sign a one-time billing agreement that would give eBay permission to automatically collect payment once a bidder wins any future auction."  I have a feeling the random buyers would NOT sign this agreement, and I would be back to my #1 issue again.

So I dunno.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: longtimer This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 11:22:48 2012

NO,NO,NO
Dont you see where this is going???

Its a set up, its a ''because you demanded it'' cleverly worded ploy.

This is setting up the buyers pay ebay for any puchase and then ebay disperses the payment to the sellers when they are damn good and ready. The same thing they are doing on the german site.

This survey is to lay the ground work for this feature and show how sellers took a survey and wanted ebay to collect payment on their behalf.
This is NOT a survey to ''eliminate dead beat bidders''.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
Web Site

Sun May 13 11:29:11 2012

@longtimer
re:" This is setting up the buyers pay ebay for any puchase and then ebay disperses the payment to the sellers when they are damn good and ready."
I suspect you're right.
It's the Amazon payment model too.

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: MoTech This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 12:10:40 2012

What would this really matter?

ebay pushes FREE shipping and wants a long return policy.

Deadbeat bidders would end up costing sellers MORE money in the long run.

Buyers who wouldn't otherwise pay will just return the items or file against the seller.  

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 13 13:32:43 2012

There is a hidden agenda in anything Ebay does and if they are saying it's a good move for the seller, then it obviously is going to screw sellers.  

I didn't get the survey, but as a 12+ year buyer on Ebay, I feel I have proven myself, have never had an issue with payment, and I don't intend to start now.  Therefore I do not need to be babysat and given new requirements.  

As a seller, I don't feel immediate payment is the answer, for many reasons already stated, including the purchase of multiple insurance policies when one would have sufficed.

I would like to see a change in the policy of keeping unpaid items a secret.  

Think about it - a seller's negatives are out there for the public, and no one knows if that buyer has all their marbles, had a bad day, contacted the seller for possible resolution, etc.  OK, so we deal with it.

However, there are buyers out there who don't pay.  Then Ebay takes those non-payments and gives them a HIDDEN STRIKE.  No one can prove they actually get a strike, Ebay says they do (does Ebay EVER lie?)  I have a guy who I know has 5 strikes, he bought 3 items from ME, never paid, is still on Ebay & when I call, they can't tell me why.  Of COURSE not!

Ebay needs to take care of the problems it already has instead of creating new ones.

If Ebay managers would open seller accounts and sell a few items, they would quickly have a clue.  How does one make good decisions when you don't understand the product?  You don't!  Ebay is the perfect example of this.  

Perminate Link for eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders   eBay Mulls New Feature to Eliminate Deadbeat Bidders

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun May 13 17:38:13 2012

I didn't receive one of these emails, either. I think ebafia's survey company keeps notes on who's critical of ebay in previous surveys and who isn't, and guess who gets any survey with a covert underlying purpose?

This latest scheme would be an absolute mine field for sellers but yet another mandated monetization for ebafia.

You've gone too far, ebafia. Are you going to send Carmine around to break my knee caps or what?

Stay the hell out of MY business!

If you think we've already caused you a lot trouble, ebafia, just wait and see what will happen in terms of bad PR if you get into the collection business without my express written consent.

Sellers, consider putting the name and user ID of NPBs in your item description when you relist.

Ebay should automatically give negative feedback for buyers who simply refuse to pay or allow sellers to do so.

It should also be clear to both buyers and sellers how many strikes are required to earn an account suspension. I suspect now it's about 1001. It should be no more than 2 in any given year.

Ebay needs to understand that padding their so-called "active user" number shouldn't be padded with chronic deadbeats as it is now.

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